I want you to think about the movies and some of the latest commercials you have watched. Most if not all of them cooperate movement. Weather the camera was following an actor during a scene, or a camera moved closer to a product them movement can be seen. Of course, there are times when you want a static shot, and have the actors do the movement, but for most high-end production videos or films directors of photography use tools to get the movement they want. And in doing so they create a certain mood to their film.
I would like to write about three tools that will help you create movement within your production. The first is a gimbal. You will need to balance your gimbal so that it doesn’t sway left or right. Gimbals are great because you can follow a subject. You’re not restricted, and you can pretty much go anywhere the actor goes. I like to follow my subject from behind and then do a quick round about movement to the right or left of them and start capturing their face. I have to back pedal when doing this, but you can simply look behind you at times and still manage to carry the gimbal and get a great shot. You can even sling the gimbal upside down and capture some vey low angle shots. Some people like to do this in order to get shots of feet moving. This could be your first shot of your actor so that you do not reveal what he looks like for example. He may be mysterious, and you may want to hold back his identity.
Another great tool that can be used to create movement is a camera slider. A slider consists of tracks that are made out of carbon fiber. You attach your camera to a moving sled that glides left to right on the track. You can place the slider on a tripod or two light stands. One of the tricky things about setting up a slider is that you need to make sure it is leveled. Some sliders come with a levelling bubble or you can rely on your tripods level bubble. Sliders can be used to shoot products or food. For example, you could have a hamburger on a table and position the slider so that it moves toward the hamburger. As you move it forward the hamburger gets bigger and may come into focus if you are shooting with a shallow depth of field. There are plenty of great shots you can get with a camera slider you just need two light stands or a tripod or two tripods depending on how long your slider is. One other idea is to set your slider on the ground and get some moving shots from down below. If you place a tripod fluid head on your slider you can maneuver it like you would a tripod but also get the movement the slider allows for.
The third tool I would like to mention is the tripod. Tripods have been around for ages, and they have their place in film. Tripods not only keep your shot rock steady, but they also allow you to pan and tilt. If your tripod has a fluid head your movement can be done with little effort that looks very smooth and professional. Some people like to pan the camera to follow a subject in the frame, or, you could follow birds in the sky. You can also use your tripod to tilt down or up.
Which tool is best for you all depends on what your covering and creating? If I only had the option to choose one of these tools, I would buy the tripod.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.